It’s been nearly half a century since our founding, but we still vividly remember why we’re called The Ecumenical Center. One of our foremost principles is to maintain connections, open doors and foster relationships between leaders of congregations headquartered in San Antonio and Texas.
Our ecumenical roots
In 1967, we were founded in true “ecumenical” fashion by a faith-based group of clergy – including major figures from Jewish, Catholic and Protestant Christian traditions in Texas. They were determined to bring together others, not only from all religious traditions, but from science, medicine, research, universities, business and other communities. We have a shared purpose: to help people in the most holistic, innovative, and inclusive ways possible.
Our expanding range of participants
Over the years, The Center’s welcoming stance has drawn in participants and support from widely disparate groups: from the congregations of our original founders. We support leaders of congregations of all faiths. We are open to all.
Our ongoing commitment to Texas
Common purpose draws us together, but so do common challenges. It’s important to demonstrate the relevance of faith in our largely secular society today. It’s also important for those promoting faith – and clergy members, in particular – to find sources of support, strength and personal growth. At The Center, we’ve made it our goal to provide practical programs to help.
- Clergy Advisory Council – a community-wide initiative to bridge services support and educate pastors, sharing best practices and innovative program offerings between congregational leaders.
- Clergy Conversation Groups – providing a safe, confidential place for congregational leaders to meet, share information and experiences, and exchange ideas and approaches to work with members of their communities and congregations.
- Clergy Candidate Psychological Assessment – to help the individual assess his/her depth of commitment to a life in ministry, and to help the church examine the candidate with greater accuracy. The assessment can suggest how the candidate can achieve and maintain optimal mental health and effective interpersonal functioning in this vocation.
- Clergy Wellness Conversation – non-clinical, 45 minute confidential conversations where counseling is recommended if needed.
- Clergy Continuing Education – courses and seminars provide education and guidance in ministering to hurting people in the critical moments and relationships in life.
- Pastoral Discussion Groups – The Center offers congregational leaders and lay leaders a confidential space to come together and have discussion groups on various topics, give advice, network, etc. The Center helps bridge the gap.
- Specialty in Pastoral Counseling – courses taken at The Center may fulfill the requirements for hospital, hospice, correctional or other chaplaincies. In addition, continuing education seminars and conferences are scheduled throughout the year to assist area religious and health care leaders in becoming more effective in their professions. Training programs are also attended by volunteers in order to enhance their ministering skills within faith communities and other agencies.